Providence is going all-in on a socially distanced Small Business Saturday this year — Nov. 28 if you’re marking your calendar. Local businesses will be offering in-person and online discounts to shoppers, and the city will be shutting down downtown parking meters for two hours of free parking to encourage Rhode Islanders to shop local this holiday season.
Wedged between the retail madness of Black Friday and the click-happy commerce of Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday in Providence aims to encourage gift-givers to shop locally and support businesses owned and operated by their friends, neighbors and fellow Rhode Islanders.
Shoppers who come to Downcity Providence on the Saturday after Thanksgiving will find more than great deals and personalized service. Small Business Saturday coincides with Open Air Saturdays, where Westminster Street is closed to cars between Eddy and Mathewson streets and Union Street will be closed between Weybosset and Westminster streets from 12–6 p.m., allowing pedestrians to browse through downtown's eclectic shops while staying outside in the fresh air. Patrons are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing. No-touch hand sanitizing stations will be available along Westminster Street.
If the weather turns chilly, head over to the Farm Fresh Winter Market in Providence's Valley neighborhood. Enjoy a large selection of local farm and food vendors in a custom-built facility designed for hosting year-round markets. In addition to locally sourced food and other goodies on sale, grab a bite to eat on the way out at one of the food trucks on site. Face masks and social distancing is required while at the market.
Finally, log in and grab some deals as the fourth annual Small Business Saturday Shop RI event takes place virtually this year with more than 100 local merchants, including entrepreneurs, artists, Farm Fresh RI, Social Venture Enterprises, veterans and minority-owned businesses. Vendor information, exclusive deals and more will be posted throughout the day.